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slash83_mus

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8 reviews in total 
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52 out of 65 people found the following review useful:
Rought start for a great show, 13 May 2013
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Revolution is one of those shows that gets buried under a load of criticism for showing the viewers a future they can't identify themselves with. All of a sudden plot holes become so important to the general public, they use every single one of them to burn the show down, even if these plot holes haven't had a chance to be explained by the writers because the show is only half-way in it's first season.

The entire show is based on a fictional future where every single piece of electronic equipment started failing, all at once, by some mysterious and unexplained force. Being thrown back to medieval means of living for several decades, the story picks up when several individuals start looking for answers to this mystery, helped by rumors of one of the governments being able to 'turn back on the lights' shortly. In the years following the black-out, governments worldwide have fallen, lacking their entire infrastructure of communication and transportation, thus unable to govern millions of people. Civil wars lead to the formation of several smaller governments, those who came out on top in the struggle for survival in the aftermath of the disaster.

What follows is a pattern of discoveries, solving the mystery piece by piece by a band of unlikely heroes, ranging from kids to grown ups, each with secrets of their own. Every episode answers some questions but raises even more.

This pattern is hard to find when you first start watching the show. In the first few episodes, the writers overwhelm the viewers with tons of questions. This strategy isn't yet paying off, a lot of viewers stopped watching because they find the show too mysterious, too full of unexplained plot holes and unlikely character motivations.

But here's the thing: Most of the things criticized about this show actually makes sense, as long as the viewer is ready to suspend his disbelief for some time and allows himself to emerge into the world the writers have created for the viewers. It might feel like a pool of quicksand at first, but giving this show time to develop is key to enjoying it the way the writers intended.

To be honest, I cannot understand almost all the negative reviews on this show. Based on what reviewers tend to write about the plot holes and seemingly impossibilities, I bet every single one of them structurally dislikes fiction, especially science fiction. How do these people not dislike movies like Star Trek, the Jacket, the Fifth Element, Mad Max, Escape from New York, Blade Runner, the Terminator or RoboCop, to name just a few? These are filled with plot holes, fictional future governments, unlikely characters and unexplained mysteries yet these are all loved by many or called 'cult', rarely being criticized like "Revolution" is.

Add to the equation this show is written and produced by people responsible for hit series like Lost and you know on forehand most questions will be answered only after many episodes, in a very slow pace, if at all. Try watching 10 episodes of 'Lost' and ask yourself: Do I understand what is going on? Because you simply won't. That's the point, you must allow yourself to be emerged in the mysterious world created by the makers of this show, suspending disbelief until they think the time has come to answer some questions you've had for over 20 episodes or so.

For me personally, all this show lacks is a feel of a solid team of writers, producers, directors and actors: the first 10 episodes or so feel a bit sloppy, like the entire crew couldn't really get used to the scope of the show's heading. But trust me, it gets better and better, and after several episodes the characters seem to feel more at home in this strange world of mystery, improving the quality of the show on each episode.

Is this a great show? It is - if the people behind it get a chance to steer clearly towards their goal and so far, it feels like the show is hugely underrated by so many, criticizing it on every minor plot hole.

Or else, maybe those people should stop watching science-fiction altogether...

5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Have the old writers come back from a long holiday?, 16 January 2012
10/10

Family guy hasn't been itself lately. It felt like the show got seriously less funny for the past 2 seasons, although it remained funny enough to watch. But only just. Up until season 8, every season had many outrageously funny episodes, well written and many laugh-out-loud moments, a good amount of 'normal' good episodes and only some dips - overall quality was great. Seasons 8, 9 and 10 felt increasingly like the writers went on vacation, one at a time, or moved to American Dad, a show that started to really outshine it's big brother, Family Guy. Even the Cleveland Show showed a big upward curve with every episode being better than the last.

Now, with this episode about Brian dating a blind girl, they are 100% back. This episode is very well written, many laugh-out-loud moments and just gave me the feeling everything will be alright with Family Guy after all.

Seth, don't let this little gem get lost in another pool of b-side episodes and Family Guy will have it's former glory back, and more.

"De Troon" (2010)
6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Good start, now it needs some substance, 8 March 2010

I am a great fan of historical TV series. I love Hornblower, Sharpe, the Tudors, Band of Brothers and many more.

Recently, I was pleasantly surprised by the new Dutch drama 'Bernhard, Schavuit van Oranje' about Holland's former prince Bernhard. Mere weeks later, another series emerged only this time telling a story about Dutch royalty in the early 19th century, a time when the Netherlands became a real monarchy after Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo.

The show looks great to begin with. Decent cinematography, costumes and sets. The actors have been cast nicely and really feel authentic. There is, however, one problem with this series. I know it has been only one episode, but it feels... rushed. Many years go by without actually feeling like many years. It feels like two or three episodes, cut down to one.

But, like I said, it is merely one episode and it is supposed to launch the series on television. Unlike many countries and TV-stations, we have no pilot-episodes. Every time a series gets released, it runs for at least a whole season or is made to last only one season. The subject 'De Troon' is based upon however, should be spread out over at least two or three seasons to make for a well told and complete series.

Highly recommended so far, as good as Dutch TV gets.

Black Book (2006)
13 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
Netherlands goes international - finally, 16 September 2006
9/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Not knowing what to expect, I went to see this movie in theaters yesterday. Being a long-time World War 2-buff and fan of Verhoeven's early Dutch work (Floris, Turks Fruit, Soldaat van Oranje) and some of his Hollywood-projects (Robocop, Total Recall, Basic Instinct) I was pleasantly surprised.

First off, this is clearly Verhoeven. Some nudity is somehow unmissable in all of his movies, so we get to see some. Verhoeven is also known to put mind-boggling plot-twists in the story, and again he left this trademark of his. I'm glad he did.

The movie tells us the story of a young Israeli teacher in a '50s Kibbutz. Triggered by the unexpected visit of an old friend, she thinks back about what happened during the last months of the war in Europe.

We see a young Jewish girl getting into trouble after her hide-out was accidentally bombed by a chased Allied bomber. She has nowhere to go and, with some help, decides to flee to the already liberated lower south of the Netherlands. The transport however is intercepted and wiped out before they reach the safe side. Being the sole survivor she suddenly finds herself in increasingly threatening situations. She is picked up by a small Dutch resistance-group and offers her services as a spy. She infiltrates the headquarters of the Sicherheitsdienst (German Intelligence Agency) but unexpectedly finds herself facing the deeper aspect of war and occupation: Not all Germans were monsters. Facing increasingly difficult situations she tries to survive the war against all odds.

Verhoeven does a great job telling the story in the emotional, colorful, humorous and utterly thrilling way he is so good at. He does what he did with 'Soldaat van Oranje' (Soldier of Orange) and adds his Hollywood-experience and an even greater budget to realize his visions.

The story is absolutely lifted to an even higher level by van Houten. She is impressive and convincing throughout the movie and the chemistry with Koch, Hoffman and Reijn never looses grip. Koch does a great job, probably partly due to his earlier roles of 'humane nazi' such as Claus Graf Schenk v. Stauffenberg ("Stauffenberg") and Albert Speer ("Speer und er"). He (finally) gives the German occupier a more humane face, a big relief compared to the black/white way Germans are portrayed in most WW2 movies even today. Kobus is very convincing in his role as the frustrated, treacherous and non-stop drinking first Lieutenant and Hoffman does a great job portraying the resistance 'hero'. It is also nice to see Derek de Lint again in his role as resistance leader, the exact opposite of his role as Dutch voluntary SS-man in 'Soldier of Orange'.

The only character that felt out of place was that of Theo (Johnny de Mol). Not only is de Mol very unconvincing and clearly not up to roles beyond soap-opera's, his character is an unnecessary addition to the otherwise convincing group of resistance-fighters.

Verhoeven is back - and how. Go see this one, it will, one way or another, grip you by the throat and won't let you go until well after the movie has ended.

9/10

Chaos (2005/II)
11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Much potential, good acting and yet... Chaos., 3 May 2006
8/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After seeing Snipes' horrible, horrible '7 seconds' and 'the Marksman', I wasn't particularly thrilled when I saw his name on the payroll. But hey, everybody makes mistakes. And Jason 'Snatch' Statham... well, that's about all it takes for me to at least give it a try.

Well then, on to the first half of the movie. Although maybe a nice artistic touch, the very first scene gives away a part of the plot. We see a big clipboard full with articles and pictures of one Det. Connors, trialled and suspended after a fatal accident on a bridge. First clue: Someone is after Connor.

Then the movie starts out pretty nice. A bank robbery, some nice action and Connor back on the force and on the case. The master thief, who calls himself Lorenz (Snipes) escapes along with the other robbers forcing Connor to start a big-scale hunt. Connor and his newly appointed sidekick, the youngster Det. Dekker (Philippe) then shoot, threaten, joke, smart-talk and one-line their way to the point where Lorenz' real identity is revealed. But is it really him who is the brain behind all this?

The movie is a somewhat strange combination of clichés and smart plot-twists. The director manages to build up the tension to some extent and Statham, Snipes and Philippe do a good job in making the characters believable. Direction overall is fine, as is the camera-work, the dialog, the score and the plot.

Then comes the last 30 minutes or so of the movie. One single event triggers Dekker to re-think everything, which unfortunately results in boring and unnecessary flashbacks. Pieces of the puzzle seem to fall together, bam. The end. Huh?

I can't seem to point out the main reason for the chaos later on in this movie. Is it the directing? Is it the script? A combination perhaps? I do get the plot, still it's confusing.

All in all a very enjoyable movie, some fun and smart plot-twists, decent acting and overall pretty good script. But those last 30 minutes... Seriously, I am confused. Oh well, they called it 'chaos', at least now I know why.

The Marksman (2005) (V)
4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Good potential wasted by haste and lack of talent, 7 November 2005
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is typically one of those many movies that could have been much better if they were made by more capable people and relies on the name of a single star.

The star in this flick is action-hero Wesley Snipes. Snipes is a very capable actor who does not often makes the mistake of showing his face in cheap flicks, unlike many of his colleagues. Now he does.

'The Marksman' tells the story of an elite group of Rangers. They are given the task of guiding a missile to it's target by planting a device on the target the missile can track down, this to prevent collateral damage. Meanwhile in Chechnya, a Russian warlord has assembled a small army and plans to mislead both the Kremlin and the Pentagon. Consequently, the chaos should allow some Communist general to overthrow the administration and re-establish Russia's communism. Snipes and his team are sent in to mark a nuclear plant before it gets re-cored, not knowing it has already been re-cored. The team gets betrayed and Snipes finds out it is all a setup. Then, it is up to him to rescue both his team and the world.

This all sounds like a decent, action-packed popcorn movie, right? Wrong. The whole cast, save Snipes, act as if they are introduced in some soap-opera, the director seems to be unable or unwilling to choose where he wants to focus upon (action in Chechnya? Communist plot in the Kremlin? Personal problems between snipes and his ex-lover/psychiatrist/CO?)and the dialogue... sigh.

And on top of all that, it is full of mistakes and some extremely low-budget special effects. The ground-action looks pretty decent, the location in Chechnya looks perfectly grey and abandoned, but my-oh-my, the air-combat scene... Even if it was the 70's they should be ashamed. It is a stealth-operation, right? Then why is Snipes the only one carrying a silenced weapon? Why does the carrier-captain wear a submarine-cap? Oh and one of the rangers seems to switch between his AK-47 and Uzi every other second. Soldiers keep jumping in the air many seconds after an explosion, guns fire without sound, soldiers get shot without anybody shooting and then there is this T-72 tank that wants to imitate his Goldeneye-counterpart. And, seriously guys... elite forces with Uzi's? My sister would have done better as the military adviser.

All in all, this move has potential but this is completely wasted by miscasting, poor support-acting, poor plotting.. and then there is the air-combat scene. See for yourself...

103 out of 120 people found the following review useful:
Easy-to-swallow warning for mass-behavior, 1 August 2004

Being a fanatical semi-professional historian on WW2, and utterly fascinated by Hitler's third Reich and all it's military power, I could hardly wait for "Hitler; the rise of evil" to come out after having seen the theatrical trailer.

Heavens, I never felt so completely confused about a movie after pushing the 'stop' button on my DVD-player's remote. I simply couldn't decide whether I liked it or not.

First of all, the performances set by Carlyle and companions are quite good. A little over-acted every now and then, especially Carlyle who obviously tries his up-most to copy the "Führer" and his body-language. He acts as if he is in a theatre, and seems to forget the fact that camera's register way more details/facial expressions. Compare a real recording of a Hitler-speech with one of Carlyle's speech-scene's and you'll see what I mean.

Then comes the Historical accuracy. Not quite bad, but I kept noticing small things which obviously were incorrect. Uniforms, weapons, bread-prices, skinny-Röhm, fat Hess... not really impressive job I might say.

but one of the most compelling things about the whole film (or series, I 've seen it as a film) is the fact that it is very obvious the director desperately wants to show the world Hitler was a sick-minded, over-emotional and completely mentally unstable person. Well, I can assure you this: He absolutely had his periods of mental disturbances and ignoring the truth, especially toward the war's end. But this... I have read many, many eye-witness reports from people who lived in his presence, like Albert Speer. They all agreed on some things, namely the facts Adolf Hitler was very often a think full, correct, funny, honorable man. Hitler was the mastermind behind the Nazi's criminal and appalling Holocaust. Hitler was a criminal. A kind of person that can never be allowed to rise to power again. This is obviously the reason why the director choose to show him the way he did. However, Hitler was dangerous not because he was a monster, he was dangerous because he was so intelligent, so well-spoken. Because he was worshipped by so many, because he knew what to say to 'his' people. That was the real danger, and that's exactly what we must teach. Think of it this way: The most successful murderers and big criminals are usually the smart, well-spoken and socially established men. You wouldn't know he is a monster until you see what he has done.

I wish the director/writer added a bit more humanity to his character. But obviously they chose to show the audience Hitler changed from a normal person into a monster. Talking about stereotypes and negligence of the truth.

Overall I still found it an enjoyable movie which does achieve one of it's main goals: portraying us, the crowd, as willing sheep, especially in times of need. Ye be warned.

Rating: 6.5/10

** Note: One very imposing scene: Hitler speaks out loud his ideas in the court-yard, with Hess recording it. After awhile you get to see a different day every now and then, and every time more and more inmates cheer him from behind their bars overlooking the yard.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Awfully brilliant, 3 June 2004
10/10

Ever since I was 12, I've read hundreds of books, seen dozens of movies and did almost anything that has to do with the second world-war. For me, this period of time which changed the world forgood has also changed my life and my view on the world as it is today.

Almost 4 years into my WWII obsession, I heard about this project from the same director who made Shindler's list. Then the first screenshots... M1 carabines, MP40's and Tiger-tanks... I couldn't wait.

Sitting there, in the pitch-dark, The movie starts with the absolutely great sound's from the orchestra lead by John Williams. Seeing the old man walking towards the huge graveyard, with his family on the background, with obviously increasing emotions, the camera hides behind one of the graves, not revealing the name on it. Fade out.

What came next is almost indescribable. A group of extremely nervous American soldiers are standing in a landing-vessel, bouncing on the waves, a last walkthrough of the tactics&objectives and then the words no-one wanted to hear: 30 SECONDS!! CLEAR THE RAMPS!

Never ever had I experienced such an intense scene. I seriously totally forgot I was in a cinema. I felt like I was flying above the beach like a ghost. Absolutely uncomparable to any other scene I had ever seen.

If I go on like this, describing all scenes, i would need 225 web-pages and 2 weeks to write it down. Since I lack the time, i'll give a short summary.

From this scene on, Spielberg lets us join the march of some survivors, who are send by High command to find the youngest of 4 brothers, 3 of which died. He must and will return safely to his mother. We follow these soldiers, move with them and inside them. Encountering only some Germans (which, after Omaha itself, are all Waffen-SS which is weird, since the main force of the Waffen-SS did not join the fight until several days later). As the search for Ryan continues, so does the search for the answer to the question of questions... why do we fight? Spielberg brilliantly links the search for that answer to the actual deeds of all the individual soldiers. He shows, better than any director before, that soldiers are not blindly-orders-following-men, but individuals who are thrown into a war and fight it their own unique way.

After a both sad and hilarious mistake, they finally manage to find Ryan.. who turns out to be unwilling to return home until he completed the task he and his team were supposed to do with the few remnants of his battlegroup. That task is to defend a small bridge in a small town -the only remaining bridge in the area- until reinforcements have arrived. Captain Miller is forced to stay and help until this objective is reached.

The final battle that follows is again a masterpiece. Spielberg obviously wanted to reach the highest level of historical accuracy. Everything, from the socks they wear up to the tanks they fight, is historically correct (I must note that the Tiger-tanks are not real ones, but are in fact T-34 (russian) tanks converted to tigers- only the running gear gives this away, but hey, there are no real Tigers which move available up to today, so still great job). This final battle again shows the true horrors of war: all but 3 or 4 die.

Alltogether, the mixture of hand-held cameras and static ones, the moving characters, the music, the brilliant storyline and the breathtaking action made this movie one worth of viewing 25 times up to today -and more often to come- for me. Even for those totally uninterested in WWII: Just go and see this one, with theatre-surround of course. You most certainly will never forget it.